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The Pulp Magazine Archive

Pulp magazines (often referred to as "the pulps"), also collectively known as pulp fiction, refers to inexpensive fiction magazines published from 1896 through the 1950s. The typical pulp magazine was seven inches wide by ten inches high, half an inch thick, and 128 pages long. Pulps were printed on cheap paper with ragged, untrimmed edges.

The name pulp comes from the cheap wood pulp paper on which the magazines were printed. Magazines printed on better paper were called "glossies" or "slicks." In their first decades, they were most often priced at ten cents per magazine, while competing slicks were 25 cents apiece. Pulps were the successor to the penny dreadfuls, dime novels, and short fiction magazines of the 19th century. Although many respected writers wrote for pulps, the magazines are best remembered for their lurid and exploitative stories and sensational cover art. Modern superhero comic books are sometimes considered descendants of "hero pulps"; pulp magazines often featured illustrated novel-length stories of heroic characters, such as The Shadow, Doc Savage, and The Phantom Detective.

The first "pulp" was Frank Munsey's revamped Argosy Magazine of 1896, about 135,000 words (192 pages) per issue on pulp paper with untrimmed edges and no illustrations, not even on the cover. While the steam-powered printing press had been in widespread use for some time, enabling the boom in dime novels, prior to Munsey, no one had combined cheap printing, cheap paper and cheap authors in a package that provided affordable entertainment to working-class people. In six years Argosy went from a few thousand copies per month to over half a million.

Street & Smith were next on the market. A dime novel and boys' weekly publisher, they saw Argosy's success, and in 1903 launched The Popular Magazine, billed as the "biggest magazine in the world" by virtue of being two pages longer than Argosy. Due to differences in page layout, the magazine had substantially less text than Argosy. The Popular Magazine introduced color covers to pulp publishing. The magazine began to take off when, in 1905, the publishers acquired the rights to serialize Ayesha, by H. Rider Haggard, a sequel to his popular novel She. Haggard's Lost World genre influenced several key pulp writers, including Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Talbot Mundy and Abraham Merritt. In 1907, the cover price rose to 15 cents and 30 pages were added to each issue; along with establishing a stable of authors for each magazine, this change proved successful and circulation began to approach that of Argosy. Street and Smith's next innovation was the introduction of specialized genre pulps, each magazine focusing on a genre such as detective stories, romance, etc.

At their peak of popularity in the 1920s and 1930s, the most successful pulps could sell up to one million copies per issue. The most successful pulp magazines were Argosy, Adventure, Blue Book and Short Stories described by some pulp historians as "The Big Four". Among the best-known other titles of this period were Amazing Stories, Black Mask, Dime Detective, Flying Aces, Horror Stories, Love Story Magazine, Marvel Tales, Oriental Stories, Planet Stories, Spicy Detective, Startling Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Unknown, Weird Tales and Western Story Magazine. Although pulp magazines were primarily a US phenomenon, there were also a number of British pulp magazines published between the Edwardian era and World War Two. Notable UK pulps included Pall Mall Magazine, The Novel Magazine, Cassell's Magazine, The Story-Teller, The Sovereign Magazine, Hutchinson's Adventure-Story and Hutchinson's Mystery-Story. The German fantasy magazine Der Orchideengarten had a similar format to American pulp magazines, in that it was printed on rough pulp paper and heavily illustrated.

The Second World War paper shortages had a serious impact on pulp production, starting a steady rise in costs and the decline of the pulps. Beginning with Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine in 1941, pulp magazines began to switch to digest size; smaller, thicker magazines. In 1949, Street & Smith closed most of their pulp magazines in order to move upmarket and produce slicks.[8] The pulp format declined from rising expenses, but even more due to the heavy competition from comic books, television, and the paperback novel. In a more affluent post-war America, the price gap compared to slick magazines was far less significant. In the 1950s, Men's adventure magazines began to replace the pulp.

The 1957 liquidation of the American News Company, then the primary distributor of pulp magazines, has sometimes been taken as marking the end of the "pulp era"; by that date, many of the famous pulps of the previous generation, including Black Mask, The Shadow, Doc Savage, and Weird Tales, were defunct. Almost all of the few remaining pulp magazines are science fiction or mystery magazines now in formats similar to "digest size", such as Analog Science Fiction and Fact and Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. The format is still in use for some lengthy serials, like the German science fiction weekly Perry Rhodan.

Over the course of their evolution, there were a huge number of pulp magazine titles; Harry Steeger of Popular Publications claimed that his company alone had published over 300, and at their peak they were publishing 42 titles per month. Many titles of course survived only briefly. While the most popular titles were monthly, many were bimonthly and some were quarterly. The collapse of the pulp industry changed the landscape of publishing because pulps were the single largest sales outlet for short stories. Combined with the decrease in slick magazine fiction markets, writers attempting to support themselves by creating fiction switched to novels and book-length anthologies of shorter pieces.

Pulp covers were printed in color on higher-quality (slick) paper. They were famous for their half-dressed damsels in distress, usually awaiting a rescuing hero. Cover art played a major part in the marketing of pulp magazines. The early pulp magazines could boast covers by some distinguished American artists; The Popular Magazine had covers by N.C. Wyeth, and Edgar Franklin Wittmack contributed cover art to Argosy and Short Stories. Later, many artists specialized in creating covers mainly for the pulps; a number of the most successful cover artists became as popular as the authors featured on the interior pages. Among the most famous pulp artists were Walter Baumhofer, Earle K. Bergey, Margaret Brundage, Edd Cartier, Virgil Finlay, Earl Mayan, Frank R. Paul, Norman Saunders, Nick Eggenhofer, (who specialized in Western illustrations), Rudolph Belarski and Sidney Riesenberg. Covers were important enough to sales that sometimes they would be designed first; authors would then be shown the cover art and asked to write a story to match.

Later pulps began to feature interior illustrations, depicting elements of the stories. The drawings were printed in black ink on the same cream-colored paper used for the text, and had to use specific techniques to avoid blotting on the coarse texture of the cheap pulp. Thus, fine lines and heavy detail were usually not an option. Shading was by crosshatching or pointillism, and even that had to be limited and coarse. Usually the art was black lines on the paper's background, but Finlay and a few others did some work that was primarily white lines against large dark areas.

Another way pulps kept costs down was by paying authors less than other markets; thus many eminent authors started out in the pulps before they were successful enough to sell to better-paying markets, and similarly, well-known authors whose careers were slumping or who wanted a few quick dollars could bolster their income with sales to pulps. Additionally, some of the earlier pulps solicited stories from amateurs who were quite happy to see their words in print and could thus be paid token amounts. There were also career pulp writers, capable of turning out huge amounts of prose on a steady basis, often with the aid of dictation to stenographers, machines or typists. Before he became a novelist, Upton Sinclair was turning out at least 8,000 words per day seven days a week for the pulps, keeping two stenographers fully employed. Pulps would often have their authors use multiple pen names so that they could use multiple stories by the same person in one issue, or use a given author's stories in three or more successive issues, while still appearing to have varied content. One advantage pulps provided to authors was that they paid upon acceptance for material instead of on publication; since a story might be accepted months or even years before publication, to a working writer this was a crucial difference in cash flow.

Some pulp editors became known for cultivating good fiction and interesting features in their magazines. Preeminent pulp magazine editors included Arthur Sullivant Hoffman (Adventure), Robert H. Davis (All-Story Weekly), Harry E. Maule (Short Stories) Donald Kennicott (Blue Book), Joseph T. Shaw (Black Mask), Farnsworth Wright (Weird Tales, Oriental Stories), John W. Campbell (Astounding Science Fiction,Unknown) and Daisy Bacon (Love Story Magazine, Detective Story Magazine).

Description of this collection from Wikipedia.

Many issues of this collection come from a variety of anonymous contributors, as well as sites such as The Pulp Magazines Project and ThePulp.net.

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The Pulp Magazine Archive
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Topics: sex, bette, kennedy, send, coupon, jim, men, sexual, bette morse, mel, capra gems, mail coupon, jim...
IF Magazine
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(Contents information excerpted from The Internet Speculative Fiction Database ) Art: The Road to the Rim (Part 1 of 2) by Gray Morrow Retief, War Criminal by Jack Gaughan The Ethics of Madness by Castellon The Iron Thorn (Part 4 of 4) by Gray Morrow Essays: Three Brave Men by Frederik Pohl It's New York in '67! by Lin Carter Hue and Cry (If, April 1967) by Frederik Pohl Novelettes: Retief, War Criminal by Keith Laumer The Ethics of Madness by Larry Niven Serials: The Road to the Rim (Part 1 of...
Topics: hooker, retief, grimes, jackson, loeffler, rim, magnan, ship, groaci, survey service, terry gordon,...
IF Magazine
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(Contents information excerpted from The Internet Speculative Fiction Database ) Art: The Fortunes of Peace by Virgil Finlay To Serve the Masters by Jack Gaughan A Bowl Bigger Than Earth by Jack Gaughan Faust Aleph-Null (Part 2 of 3) by Gray Morrow Invader by Vaughn Bodé Essays: A Dog's Job by Frederik Pohl Friday at the Fanoclasts by Lin Carter Hue and Cry (If, September 1967) by Frederik Pohl Novelettes: The Fortunes of Peace by C. C. MacApp To Serve the Masters by Perry A. Chapdelaine A...
Topics: ware, wend, master, morfiks, baines, masters, grammer, hess, landy, life forms, science fiction,...
IF Magazine
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(Contents information excerpted from The Internet Speculative Fiction Database ) Art: Ocean On Top (Part 1 of 3) by Castellon Ocean On Top (Part 1 of 3) [2] by Castellon Ocean On Top (Part 1 of 3) [3] by Castellon Enemy of the Silkies by Jack Gaughan Enemy of the Silkies [2] by Jack Gaughan Enemy of the Silkies [3] by Jack Gaughan Winter of the Llangs by Virgil Finlay Winter of the Llangs [2] by Virgil Finlay Winter of the Llangs [3] by Virgil Finlay Faust Aleph-Null (Part 3 of 3) by Gray...
Topics: cemp, silkies, ware, nijjan, silkie, baines, chimmuh, tank, rodgers, science fiction, tent roof,...
IF Magazine
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(Contents information excerpted from The Internet Speculative Fiction Database ) Art: The Felled Star by Jack Gaughan Population Implosion by Vaughn Bodé A Ticket to Zenner by Virgil Finlay A Ticket to Zenner [2] by Virgil Finlay A Ticket to Zenner [3] by Virgil Finlay Adam's Eva by Virgil Finlay Spaceman! (Part 3 of 3) by Castellon Essays: Wiped Out by Frederik Pohl The Purpose of Fandom by Lin Carter Hue and Cry (If, July 1967) by Frederik Pohl Novelettes: Population Implosion by Andrew J....
Topics: adam, eva, clemens, tom, joe, cullan, wioon, sam, meroban, felled star, science fiction, lady...
IF Magazine
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(Contents information excerpted from The Internet Speculative Fiction Database ) Art: All Judgment Fled (Part 1 of 3) by Gray Morrow On Conquered Earth by Jack Gaughan Answering Service by Jack Gaughan When Sea Is Born Again by Vaughn Bodé City of Yesterday by Jack Gaughan Swordsmen of the Stars by Jack Gaughan Ocean On Top (Part 3 of 3) by Castellon Essays: Herbert George Morley Roberts Wells, Esq. by Arthur C. Clarke Fandom in Europe Today by Lin Carter Hue and Cry (If, December 1967) by...
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Topics: mccullough, yarn, latpur, bert, walters, marie, demunth, alien, deeoon, judgment fled, time...
IF Magazine
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(Contents information excerpted from The Internet Speculative Fiction Database ) Art: The Soft Weapon by Jack Gaughan Forest in the Sky by Castellon The Iron Thorn (Part 2 of 4) by Gray Morrow The Evil Ones by Vaughn Bodé A Beachhead for Gree by Burns Essays: Talk, Talk, Talk by Frederik Pohl The Fan Awards by Lin Carter Hue and Cry (If, February 1967) by Frederik Pohl Novelettes: The Soft Weapon by Larry Niven Forest in the Sky by Keith Laumer The Evil Ones by Richard Wilson A Beachhead for...
Topics: jackson, kzin, amsir, kzinti, steve, eld, retief, jason, nessus, boss kzin, soft weapon, father...
IF Magazine
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(Contents information excerpted from The Internet Speculative Fiction Database ) Art: Brother Berserker by Jack Gaughan Mail Drop by Vaughn Bodé The Shadow of Space by Gray Morrow Dreamhouse by Wallace Wood In the Jaws of Danger by Vaughn Bodé Ocean On Top (Part 2 of 3) by Castellon Essays: Rapid Transit by Frederik Pohl Hue and Cry (If, November 1967) by Frederik Pohl Novelettes: Mail Drop by C. C. MacApp The Shadow of Space by Philip José Farmer Dreamhouse by Gary Wright Novella: Brother...
Topics: grettir, derron, vincento, sleipnir, bert, klonit, ship, dillingham, berserker, cold man, brother...
IF Magazine
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(Contents information excerpted from The Internet Speculative Fiction Database ) Art: Spaceman! (Part 1 of 3) by Castellon Spaceman! (Part 1 of 3) [2] by Castellon Spaceman! (Part 1 of 3) [3] by Castellon The Robots Are Here by Jack Gaughan The Robots Are Here [2] by Jack Gaughan The Youth Addicts by Vaughn Bodé The Youth Addicts [2] by Vaughn Bodé The Youth Addicts [3] by Vaughn Bodé The Long, Slow Orbits by Virgil Finlay The Long, Slow Orbits [2] by Virgil Finlay The Long, Slow Orbits [3]...
Topics: grimes, orfeo, craven, raire, desroy, rim, baxter, ship, harriet, sir orfeo, lady raire, lord...
IF Magazine
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(Contents information excerpted from The Internet Speculative Fiction Database ) Art: Wizard's World by Gray Morrow All True Believers by Virgil Finlay Spaceman! (Part 2 of 3) by Castellon Driftglass by Jack Gaughan Essays: Why the Earth Isn't Round by Frederik Pohl The N3f and Others by Lin Carter Hue and Cry (If, June 1967) by Frederik Pohl Letter (Worlds of If, June 1967) by Arthur C. Clarke Novelette: All True Believers by Howard L. Morris Novella: Wizard's World by Andre Norton Serial:...
Topics: craike, gil, srat, jorik, esper, ognath, takya, ommu, sherril, black hoods, sir hubert, poor srat,...
IF Magazine
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(Contents information excerpted from The Internet Speculative Fiction Database ) Art: Faust Aleph-Null (Part 1 of 3) by Gray Morrow Clear As Mud by Jack Gaughan The Winged Helmet by Wallace Wood The Felled Star (Part 2 of 2) by Jack Gaughan Essays: No More Tomorrows by Frederik Pohl Fan Into Pro by Lin Carter When Women Rule by Sam Moskowitz Hue and Cry (If, August 1967) by Frederik Pohl Novelette: Clear As Mud by Keith Laumer Novella: The Winged Helmet by Fred Saberhagen Serials: Faust...
Topics: baines, ware, vegan, vegans, domenico, faust, jack, contraband, tion, jack ginsberg, father...
IF Magazine
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(Contents information excerpted from The Internet Speculative Fiction Database ) Art: The Iron Thorn (Part 1 of 4) by Gray Morrow A Hair Perhaps by Vaughn Bodé The Scared Starship by Nodel On the Shallow Seas by Burns Snow White and the Giants (Part 4 of 4) by Jack Gaughan Essays: H. G. Wells Plus 100 by Frederik Pohl - Still More Fandoms by Lin Carter Hue and Cry (If, January 1967) by Frederik Pohl Letter (Worlds of If, January 1967) by Sandra Miesel Novelettes: A Hair Perhaps by J. F. Bone...
Topics: lant, jackson, honor, jota, amsir, kruger, eld, alien, secon, secon jackson, white jackson, iron...
IF Magazine
by Galaxy Publishing Corporation
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Please note: The story "I have No Mouth, and I Must Scream" by Harlan Ellison has been removed from this online copy at the request of the author. (Contents information excerpted from The Internet Speculative Fiction Database ) Art: The Billiard Ball by Vaughn Bodé I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream by Smith This Mortal Mountain by Castellon Flatlander by Jack Gaughan The Sepia Springs Affair by Wright Where Are the Worlds of Yesteryear? by Jack Gaughan The Iron Thorn (Part 3 of 4)...
Topics: jackson, priss, bloom, elephant, ahmuls, beale, susiem, hugo, sepia, sepia springs, billiard ball,...
CONTENTS: Startling Mystery Stories [v2 #1, #7, Winter 1967-1968] (50¢, 132pp, digest, cover by Virgil Finlay)         8 · The Bride Of The Peacock [Pierre d’Atois] · E. Hoffmann Price · na Weird Tales August 1932         55 · Nice Old House · Dona Tolson · ss         60 · Those Who Seek · August Derleth · ss Weird Tales January 1932         71 · John Bartine’s Watch · Ambrose Bierce · ss San Francisco Examiner January 22, 1893         78 ·...
Topics: Pulps, Pulp Magazines, Science Fiction, Horror, Supernatural, August Derleth, Ambrose Bierce, Paul...
The Pulp Magazine Archive
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Mystery Digest
Topic: Mystery Digest
The Pulp Magazine Archive
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5 • The Editor's Page (Magazine of Horror, Spring 1967) • [Editorial (Magazine of Horror)] • essay by Robert A. W. Lowndes [as by RAWL] 6 • The Room of Shadows • (1936) • novelette by Arthur J. Burks 27 • The Flaw • short story by J. Vernon Shea 36 • Introduction: The Doom of London • essay by Sam Moskowitz 38 • The Doom of London • (1892) • short story by Robert Barr 48 • The Vale of Lost Women • [Conan] • short story by Robert E. Howard 64 • The Ghoul Gallery...
Topics: Magazine of Horror, 1967, pulp, fiction, fantasy, horror
The Pulp Magazine Archive
by The French Reader
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Best known French science fiction magazine
Topics: French, science fiction, fantasy, Opta
The Pulp Magazine Archive
by The French Reader
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Best known French science fiction magazine
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The Pulp Magazine Archive
by The French Reader
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Best known French science fiction magazine
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The Pulp Magazine Archive
by The French Reader
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Best known French science fiction magazine
Topics: French, science fiction, fantasy, Opta
The Pulp Magazine Archive
by The French Reader
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Best known French science fiction magazine
Topics: French, science fiction, fantasy, Opta
The Pulp Magazine Archive
by The French Reader
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Best known French science fiction magazine
Topics: French, science fiction, fantasy, Opta